Alibi V.13 No.32 • Aug 5-11, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

Today marks the first time I've ever had a waiter tell me the special was "fucking great." Actually, come to think of it, I know a lot of waiters and it's entirely possible that one of them, at one time or another, may have described a dish to me as "fucking great," but I didn't know this guy at all. Probably he just forgot for a minute that he was at work and that he was supposed to be acting like a grownup. So for a brief minute he spoke to us totally honestly. Would we have believed him as completely if he had described the dish as “excellent”? Probably not. My dining companion and I appreciated his enthusiasm. Why waste time being offended? He was just being sincere. Plus, he was right; the special was fucking great.

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The Dish

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Several readers have written in to recommend Geo's in Rio Rancho (3301 Southern, 891-4800). The owner, George Menza, is an Oregon native who spent some time cooking in New Orleans before moving to New Mexico. In a story that is familiar to many non-native New Mexicans, Menza was driving from Virginia to Oregon when he stopped in Albuquerque last year. After three days he knew this was the place for him. Menza bought a house and went back to Oregon to pack up his things. Geo's is a lunch and dinner joint that serves what Chef Menza describes as European food. I said, so does that mean not old fashioned but old school? Yes, he said. Imagine a menu full of Veal Oscar, lamb chops and classic dishes flavored richly with fresh herbs. That's what I imagined as Menza described his food. His Oregon restaurant had been called Hot Off the Brick and drew heavily from the Italian tradition. Out in Rio Rancho, Geo's resides in a shopping center that is also home to a Pasta Café, a situation that prevents Menza from doing too much Italian food. No matter. He's recently made up a new dish: Chicken Imperial, a chicken breast topped with sautéed ham, cremini mushrooms and onions, asparagus and Hollandaise. Mmmm, Hollandaise.

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Scott Rickson

Know Your Ingredients

Party Hard Without the Lard

The skinny on trans fat-free shortening

When Crisco appeared on the scene in 1911, it was the first solid shortening made entirely of vegetable oil, not lard. Solid shortening was the result of a technological breakthrough, called hydrogenation, that transformed liquid vegetable oil into a solid. Crisco was marketed as more sanitary than the commonly used animal fats and its popularity grew. Shortening steadily replaced lard in pie crusts and for deep frying. When Americans became concerned with the heart-damaging effects of saturated fats, solid vegetable shortening was again a popular alternative.

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Dining In

Bluberries

Summer's Superfood

To a New Englander like me, there are two sure signs that summer is truly in full bloom: stacks of fresh corn in every seaside village and quarts of blueberries piled as high as an elephant's eye. You can't drive along a country road anywhere in Massachusetts without passing a little fruit stand mounded on one side with corn and on the other with thin wooden punnets of blueberries, newly picked and all yours for 99 cents a quart.

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Image courtesy of the artist

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Romance, Classical Guitar and High Tea

Romantic Classical Guitar and High Tea

Martin Ly is a local classical guitarist who attended Manzano High School before studying classical guitar performance at the University of New Mexico. The guitar program at UNM, as one might recall, is headed by the heady and totally awesome Michael Chapdelaine, who's been guiding young hands as they explore the frets and frequencies associated with the nylon-stringed axe for over 30 years. It figures then, that Ly rocks too; you can hear his amazing reach and subtle sonics…
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Image via Pixabay

EVENT HORIZON ()

Southern Comfort in the Comfort of the Southwest

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Southern Food Pairing

Flights to Kentucky are expensive, and they have Polar Vortices over there. (Yes, that is the plural of vortex. Look it up.) Instead of making that trek on the hunt for some strong liquor and Southern hospitality, why not do some barstool tourism at O’Neill’s Pub in Nob Hill? This Wednesday, Feb. 20, come by to enjoy pairings of four Kentucky bourbon whiskeys with four Southern comfort dishes any time between 5 and 8pm. You’ll sip on Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Buffalo Trace and Blanton's bourbon while the kitchen serves up fried green tomatoes, honey corn fritters, smoked brisket and a pecan pie tart. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night, huh? The pairing is $25 per person and, obviously, only for those 21 or older.
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Chowtown Restaurant Guide

Although this is the big week for romantic candlelit dinners, hopefully you make time for a few of those at other times of the year as well. If not, well, maybe it’s time to start. Here’s a few of our suggestions for places to take your sweetie out to dinner on a special day, even if that special day is just “Friday, and it’s been a long week.” You’ll probably want to make reservations for these ones, and wear your nice shoes.